WINTHROP - The Town of Winthrop is curtailing some of its services in an effort to help contain coronavirus.
“These are extraordinarily challenging times,” said a Saturday evening, March 14, announcement from the town. “Gov. (Jay) Inslee has issued a statewide order closing schools, canceling public gatherings and enforcing social dis-tancing for COVID-19 virus containment. The Town of Winthrop will adhere to these recommendations.”
No cases of coronavirus have been reported in Okanogan County.
Winthrop employees cannot work from home, so the town implemented changes starting March 16.
Town hall business hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For employee safety, no in-person chats, questions of impromptu meetings will be allowed.
Town council meetings will remain the first and third Wednesdays of the month. People are asked to email com-ments on agenda items to the mayor at firstname.lastname@example.org by 6 p.m. on meeting days. They will be read aloud at meetings, entered into the minutes and answered.
Public attendance at meetings is allowed, but not recommended, said town officials.
“Your town employees are here to serve and assist you, and we’ll keep you updated as things progress,” said the an-nouncement. “We are sorry for these necessary safety inconveniences. As soon as this emergency has subsided we will return to normal operations.”
Volunteers may be needed, so people may email the mayor if individuals or organizations can help others with non-medical tasks.
People are asked to stay four to six feet away from others.
“Stay healthy, take a walk and shop local - our businesses need you,” said Mayor Sally Ranzau.
Until further notice, town policies include:
-People can pay water and sewer bills by mail or place them in a drop box next to the visitor center. Billing ques-tions will be answered by phone only by calling 509-996-2320.
-Meeting information, questions about planning, building and westernization issues may be directed to the same number or emailed.
-For emergencies, people can call 911. Non-emergency calls to the marshal’s office may be made to 509-422-7232.
-Public Works Director Jeff Sarvis can be reached at 509-341-4130, 509-996-9211 or 509-996-2320.